Stone Oak is a residential development in the far north of San Antonio. It was originally carved out five ranches — 5,000 acres — and is bounded by Camp Bullis, an army installation, on the west and rock quarries on the east. It was the first master planned community in San Antonio: the first plan of Stone Oak was filed in Bexar County in 1985. The roads were laid out, utility lines installed, trunk lines laid for electrical service . . . and then the Savings and Loan Crisis hit. Oops. Much of the land went into receivership of the RTC, the Resolution Trust Corporation of the US Government, and development pretty much stopped from 1989-1992.
When the economy recovered Stone Oak took off. Now, it is a highly desirable residential area with hip restaurants and trendy shops. Incomes and property values here are about twice the San Antonio average. The population of the zip code that is largely taken up by Stone Oak more than doubled from 17,355 in 2000 to 43,569 in 2015. There are about 40 neighborhoods in Stone Oak, all of them with strict homeowners associations that don’t allow weird colors or offbeat yard art. The prevailing architectural vibe is faux Tuscan village with a little bit of French chateau thrown in. More and more of the neighborhoods are gated. Although originally a bedroom community, industries have sprung up, many supporting the medical industry.
We’ll be upfront about this: Stone Oak is a sweet walk, but it’s mainly for the locals. If you only have a day or two in San Antonio you’ll have more fun walking one of the Missions walks hosted by the Selma pathfinders or strolling along the Riverwalk with the Texas Wanderers. The Randolph Roadrunners have some challenging nature trails to walk in the Crownridge Canyon Natural Area and Friederich Wilderness Park. But if you want well maintained sidewalks in a safe neighborhood with a gazillion choices for a nice meal — try Stone Oak.
The epicenter of Stone Oak is roughly at the intersection of 281 and Loop 1604. It’s about 15 miles north of downtown San Antonio: in theory, a half hour drive without traffic, but there is always traffic. Since the start point is at a hotel you can begin and end any time during daylight hours. For more details and the address of the start point, visit the AVA Web site.
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